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Cottrell and Vermeulen wins planning for new school

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Cottrell and Vermeulen has won planning for this new-build school and nursery in Peckham Rye, London

The 2,200m² school building for Bellenden Primary School in Peckham will be built on the site of a disused care home surrounded by Victorian terraced housing.

The scheme will provide teaching, play and community spaces while allowing the school to expand from single to two form entry.

A new hall and smaller space will also be used by the local community while the dining area, café and kitchen are able to be used independently of the main school.

The project is set to start on site in August and is due to open in September 2016.

Cottrell and Vermeulen Bellenden School

The architect’s view

The new school will occupy an island site surrounded predominantly by Victorian terraced streets. The building wraps around the perimeter, providing both security and a clear street presence. Where it sits close to the neighbouring terraces the perimeter wall has a quiet, sedate form – in contrast to the entrance elevation which is a livelier composition, with areas of glazing and colour used to enliven the street and encourage its use as a pedestrian route.

A single storey ring of classrooms and other teaching spaces hugs the perimeter wall and faces inwards to provide privacy, before rising to two storeys closer to the centre of the site. A key feature is the school’s dark tiled roof, whose materials reference the surrounding terraces, and whose contrasting form slopes down to form facades. All classrooms have direct access to a diverse range of outdoor play and education spaces, with the large central courtyard – shielded on all sides - offering pupils a particularly colourful and expressive internal world. 

Cottrell and Vermeulen Bellenden School

Project data  

Location Peckham Rye, London
Type of project school
Client Southwark Council
Architect Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture
Main contractor Morgan Sindall
Funding London Borough of Southwark
Gross internal floor area 2,200m²
Form of contract and/or procurement Design and Build
Start on site date August 2015
Completion date September 2016
Specific environmental targets BREEAM Excellent

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